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Pause of online roll-out does little to help Countrywide share price

The much-expected pause in the roll out of Countrywide's online service to vendors, confirmed yesterday, did not appear to impress investors.

Countrywide's share price ended trading on the London stock exchange yesterday down almost three per cent at 125p.

Earlier this week Estate Agent Today reported that PropTech analyst Mike DelPrete had spotted - despite suggestions to the contrary from some - that the Countrywide brands which first adopted an online option as well as the traditional full service model appeared not to be bringing in more business as a result.

The official line from Countrywide, contained in its latest trading statement, was that the pause was to allow the results of an 'evaluation exercise' - although previously the company had spoken of the success of the digital options, which are now available in 50 per cent of the group's branches. 

The statement itself revealed that group revenue for Q3 was £175.1m, down seven per cent year on year even though the company described this as “a resilient performance in London sales and lettings and in Financial Services”.

Within estate agency, third quarter revenue was £47.8m (2016: £57.0m) although transaction levels were up in Q3 compared with Q1 and Q2. Estate agency business increased two per cent on Q2.

Alison Platt, chief executive, told investors: “During the quarter, we continued to extend multi-channel offerings to our customers, which shows through in the resilience of the overall revenue performance. Our focus on cost reduction remains equally unabated and we are mobilising the next phase of our cost transformation programme.

“The market for housing transactions remains challenging and is likely to be down overall compared with 2016. As in previous years, the final quarter remains important and we currently expect our results for the full year to be towards the lower end of the range of market expectations.”

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    If you work at Countrywide get your CV out. I don't think Mrs P or anyone has much future in 2018 and beyond. It is very sad to see a great company self destruct. Many of us have happy and successful memories there. Shame on the Retail Regime.

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